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1:40 PM ET, January 1, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Ephraim Sneh / Washington Post:
Why Israel Is Bombing Gaza  —  When demands are made of Israel to halt its military activities in Gaza, a brief historical reminder is in order.  —  In September 2005, Israel vacated Gaza, dismantled all the settlements in the Gaza Strip and did not leave a shred of a presence there.
Discussion: Soccer Dad
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Ynetnews:
Hamas leader, 20 Palestinians killed in IAF strikes  —  Nizar Rayyan, who advocated renewal of suicide bombings against Jewish state, killed with nine other people, including members of his family.  Palestinians report 10 people killed in separate strike on Gaza school  —  Latest Update:
Yaakov Katz / Associated Press:
IAF steps up Gaza Strip air strikes  —  The IAF on Thursday bombed a building in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, reportedly killing seven people, including senior Hamas leader and cleric Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, and injuring thirty others.  —  Army Radio reported that according to Palestinian sources …
Taghreed El-Khodary / New York Times:
In Dense Gaza, Civilians Suffer  —  GAZA — A dentist stood at the bed of a doctor, his good friend Ehab Madhoun, 32, who had just died, his shrapnel-pitted body wrapped in a white shroud.  —  The day before, Dr. Madhoun, a general practitioner, was in an ambulance responding to an Israeli strike …
Yaakov Katz / Associated Press:
Nizar Rayyan considered successor of Ahmed Yassin  —  Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, 52, a senior Hamas leader and cleric, was killed along with several others on Thursday when an IAF aircraft dropped a bomb on the eight-story Jabalya apartment building he lived in, the IDF said.
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
At Midnight, U.S. Leaves Republican Palace, Green Zone to Iraqis  —  The walls of the majestic Republican Palace in Baghdad's Green Zone have been stripped bare.  The vaults that secured American cash and classified documents are gone, and the cement blast walls that protected the front entrance were taken down this week.
New York Post:
SILVER NOW TAKES SHINE TO CAROLINE  —  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who last week sharply questioned whether Caroline Kennedy should be appointed to the US Senate, said yesterday he's rethinking his views because he believes Gov. Paterson may soon pick her.
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Adam Nossiter / New York Times:
South Carolina Governor Relents on Jobless Funds  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just hours before the unemployment benefits fund was to run out in South Carolina, the state with the nation's third-highest jobless rate, Gov. Mark Sanford relented Wednesday and agreed to apply for a $146 million federal loan …
Kyle Hopkins / Anchorage Daily News:
Palin says Johnston is no dropout  —  HIGH SCHOOL: She says father of her grandson has a job and takes correspondence classes.  —  khopkins@adn.com  —  Gov. Sarah Palin spent part of Wednesday countering what she considers inaccurate descriptions of how much education her daughter's fiance has …
Rasmussen Reports:
Americans Closely Divided Over Israel's Gaza Attacks  —  Americans, while far more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians, are closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip.  —  Forty-four percent (44%) …
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Daled Amos
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Analysis: Must Senate seat Burris?  —  NOTE TO READERS: This post is another in a series exploring the meaning and scope of prior Supreme Court rulings — here, the June 16, 1969, decision in Powell v. McCormack (395 U.S. 486).  —  Analysis  —  Twice in recent days, the Democrats …
Discussion: Balkinization
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Renae Merle / Washington Post:
Wall Street's Final '08 Toll: $6.9 Trillion Wiped Out  —  Racked by Crisis, Markets End Year on Slight Upswing  —  After months of tortuous trading, Wall Street rang out its worst year since the Great Depression yesterday, leaving shareholders $6.9 trillion the poorer.
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Vikas Bajaj / New York Times:
Markets Limp Into 2009 After a Bruising Year
Discussion: The Big Picture
Front Page Magazine:
Man of the Year: Geert Wilders  —  It's a safe bet that Geert Wilders won't be Time magazine's Man of the Year any time soon.  If anything, the unusually coiffed Dutch MP is a favorite hate figure of the Western media, which has spent years vilifying him as a “reactionary,” a …
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Champions Of 2008  —  Your pick for best Mental Health Break Of The Year: two dogs and a soldier.  —  The Malkin Award Winner for 2008: Ben Stein, writing in National Review.  —  The Moore Award Winner for 2008: P. Z. Myers, Pharyngula.  —  The Poseur Of The Year is Alisa Shvarts, from perezhilton.com.
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Minnesota Recount Almost Over — But Coleman Could Keep A Franken Win Bottled Up For Weeks  —  Al Franken could be declared the winner of the Minnesota recount as soon as Monday, but due to the peculiarities of Minnesota election law, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) could keep the seat bottled …
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 More Items: 
Swaraaj Chauhan / The Moderate Voice:
Australia: To Bare Or Not To Bare  —  Sydney's Bondy Beach …
Discussion: The Independent and Neptunus Lex
icWales is now WalesOnline:
Protesters against BBC Gaza coverage glue themselves to entrance barriers
Discussion: Moonbattery and Gateway Pundit
Yaakov Katz / Jerusalem Post:
‘Humanitarian aid flow in our interest’
Bsetser / Brad Setser:
Relitigating 1998 at the end of 2008  —  Tyler Cowen argues that the …
Discussion: Angry Bear and EconLog
Ilana Curiel / Ynetnews:
Rocket hits Ashdod apartment building; no injuries
Discussion: Yourish.com and Elder of Ziyon
 Earlier Items: 
Paul Pringle / Los Angeles Times:
A year of triumphs and scandals for SEIU
Mike Stobbe / Associated Press:
Smoking ban leads to major drop in heart attacks
Discussion: Say Anything
Michael D. Shear / Washington Post:
Obama, Pelosi to Discuss Scope of Economic Package
Muslim in Suffer:
ZIONIST ISRAEL'S CRIMES ARE NOT NEW